Elon Musk warned “be careful what you wish” after a poll called for him to stand down as Twitter CEO. The embattled billionaire U-turned on a new policy where promoting other social media accounts would see offending accounts shut down. Now, he issued a poll asking Twitter users whether he should stand down as CEO.
As of writing at 7.45am GMT, with 14,361,250 votes, a majority of Twitter users have said Mr Musk should step down as head of Twitter.
With just over three hours left on the poll, 57 percent of those who responded said he should step down, while 43 percent said he should remain.
While the CEO insisted he would “abide by the results of this poll”, he also posted a number of tweets suggesting the company would not find another boss who could steer it away from trouble.
At 11.43pm GMT, minutes after posting the poll, Mr Musk said: “As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for, as you might get it.”
Investment forum Wall Street Silver suggested Mr Musk has already picked out the next CEO, and would retire to be Chairman of the Board, prompting the new owner to issue another warning.
“No one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive”, he said. “There is no successor.”
Lex Fridman, Research Scientist at MIT, also suggested Mr Musk let him run Twitter with no salary, as he would focus “on great engineering and increasing the amount of love in the world”.
“You must like pain a lot”, Mr Musk shot back. “One catch: you have to invest your life savings in Twitter and it has been in the fast lane to bankruptcy since May. Still want the job?”
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Throughout his short tenure as Twitter CEO, Mr Musk has been embattled with backlashes to new policies and cost-cutting measures.
Over the weekend, Twitter said it will shut down accounts solely designed to promote other social media platforms.
The measure would also affect accounts that link off to or contain usernames from platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Nostr and Post.
Former Twitter boss Jack Dorsey, who recently invested in Nostr, replied to the Twitter post asking “why?”
Mr. Musk later adjusted the policy after criticism, and apologized for the change without a vote.
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Jukka Väänänen, CEO of free PR platform Newspage, told Express.co.uk that “Musk will still be pulling the strings at Twitter” even if he does step down.
He noted Mr Musk admitted Twitter is a publisher, and said: “Whether you believe Musk is genuinely aspiring to create a digital town square, or is turning Twitter into a 1970s banana republic, the truth is it’s Musk’s gig and he’s going nowhere.
“The real story on Sunday was Musk’s tweet that ‘Twitter should be easy to use, but no more relentless free advertising of competitors. No traditional publisher allows this and neither will Twitter’.
“A tweet in response from Éric Freyssinet highlighted the legal can of worms Musk just opened, intentionally or not, as many perceived this tweet as a latent admission that Twitter is a publisher.”
“On Sunday night, a fuse was lit under the growing debate as to when social media platforms morph into publishers, and quite rightly”, Mr Väänänen added.